Losing a mom is like a losing a light that had been illuminating your whole life. Only once it’s gone do you realize how dark the world is without it.
You may try to adjust to this darkness, but you will never forget the light you lost. And as people expect you to stop grieving as time passes, you can’t. Because you wake up in the darkness every day, surrounded by reminders you of your mom. Reminding you how much you need her.
You Will Remember Your Mother Long After Her Death
And you will wish for more time that you will never get. You think of the million things you would have done differently, but it hadn’t occurred to you that mom won’t be around forever. Well, you knew it logically, but not in your heart. The wound of her death will never fully heal since a piece of you has been torn away.
You may look through her phone, her social media accounts, her to-do lists, her little scribbles, searching for one last message from her. Snippets of advice will be found, beautiful memories, or nothing at all. You will search for closure, but the final note won’t be enough. Nothing will seem to be enough.
Little things will remind you of her. The earrings she gave you as a present, the TV show you used to watch together, the dessert she would go nuts for. You want to remember her and these reminders may cause you to tear up in the most unlikely places. The grief will hit you at moments you don’t expect. Because when you think you are finally over her passing, a new bout of yearning will hit you.
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Other People Won’t Understand Your Mourning
Worst of all, people who still have their mothers will struggle to understand. People won’t know how to react to your pain and will say clumsy and hurtful things. But you’d rather that than the people who ignore you because “they don’t know what to say,” and they’ll put their discomfort before your mountain of pain. You may discover who your true friends are, and know that your mother would be happy for you for that.
After a few weeks pass, people will expect you to be okay. After all, the death of a parent is natural and you had some time to grieve. They don’t feel the pain you are wading through each day and they are blind to it. But you are not okay. Your world has changed, become darker somehow, and you need more time before you could enjoy the things you used to. Your usual routine is gone and that’s okay. You will return to it eventually.
You won’t get used to the pain, but you will learn to cope with it, and some days will be better than others. Sometimes you will feel like you are back to normal, and others, you will cry at the sight of a mother duck walking with her ducklings.
There will be events your mother will miss, birthdays, weddings, milestones, and your successes. When something good happens, you want to jump to tell her the news because you know it would make her proud. Then the darkness falls over you all over again.
It’s More Than Just ‘Loss’
Explaining to people “I’ve lost my mother” feels like a lie. “Lost” sounds like a silly accident, a misplacement. “Lost” is when you can’t find your car keys. It’s a child who runs off at the mall and is found a few hours later. “Losing a mother” is like stepping on a landmine. You survive, but bits of shrapnel will keep on working their way out of you, each one as painful as the last. It’s explosive, it’s gut-wrenching, and it feels as “natural” as amputating a limb. Whenever people expect you to be over it, you want to scream. Can’t they see that a huge part of you is missing?
Grieving Your Mother Will Help You Heal
Although the world expects you to walk it off, allow the grief to come out. Don’t keep it bottled, because the pain of this magnitude is like shaking a cola bottle. It will explode and often when you least expect it.
So cry and scream as much as you need to. Your true friends will stay by your side so hold them close. You will need companionship at this time, even if you don’t quite feel like it. Don’t isolate yourself; talk to those who care about you. Tell them all of the amazing stories about your mom and tell them how much you miss her.
Find groups of people who are going through the same thing as you. They will understand on a fundamental level. They will make you feel heard.
Find a grief counselor to help you process all of the chaotic emotions rushing through you, especially if you already struggle to communicate your feelings.
Care For Yourself
Above all, take care of yourself. Allow yourself to take all the time you need to grieve. There are no set rules for how long you should feel sad, but if you feel stuck or in a cycle of depressive symptoms, it’s best that you seek professional help. Losing a mother is a perfectly valid reason to see a therapist. You don’t need to go through this alone.
Be patient with yourself. Take walks. Go out into the sunshine. Eat healthy food. Get enough sleep and rest. Talk about your feelings to those who care about you. Treat yourself the way your mother had treated you whenever you were going through a hard time. For more information on how to work through a bereavement, read here.
Remember her. She may be gone but her memories live on. Through them, she will always be there for you.